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Goldwater v. Brewer

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division, Department C

June 25, 2013

EDWARD GOLDWATER, Plaintiff/Appellant,
v.
JAN BREWER, Defendant/Appellee.

Not for Publication – Rule 28, Arizona Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure

Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County Cause No. CV2011-070095 The Honorable Jose S. Padilla, Judge.

Edward George Goldwater Buckeye In Propria Persona.

Thomas C. Horne, Arizona Attorney General Phoenix by James B. Bowen, Assistant Attorney General Attorneys for Defendant/Appellee.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

PETER B. SWANN, Presiding Judge

¶1 Edward Goldwater appeals from the superior court's dismissal of his complaint against Governor Jan Brewer. We affirm because the complaint fails to state a claim against the Governor as a matter of law.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2 On October 17, 2011, Goldwater, a prison inmate, filed a complaint against the Governor and various fictitious defendants. The complaint and summons were served on the Governor on November 1, 2011.

¶3 The complaint alleged three counts. Count I, entitled "Access to the Courts, " alleged that Arizona was engaged in a conspiracy with lawyers to deny legal services to criminal defendants, that the "defendants" in Goldwater's complaint set up a program to torture and drug criminal defendants to force pleas, that the state supreme court set up a "star chamber" to deny Goldwater access to the courts, that the state court of appeals and supreme court set up a program to deny all pro se criminal defendants any relief, that the state convicts criminal defendants based on "probable cause" rather than "beyond a reasonable doubt, " that the state courts do not grant habeas corpus petitions, and that the state legislature has failed to review statutes governing habeas corpus since 1977. Count II, entitled "Fraud, " alleged that Arizona has not had a balanced budget for years, that "the defendants" violated the state constitution by establishing programs to give gifts to the Arizona Cardinals football team, that the state lottery was bankrupt and a sham, that "defendants" refused to provide Medicaid coverage to unmarried individuals, and that "defendants" are unconstitutionally privatizing prisons in exchange for donations from private organizations. Count III, entitled "Trespass, " alleged that the state courts have a policy of denying review or any type of relief to pro se inmates, that "defendants" refuse to read Goldwater's criminal court petitions, and that the state supreme court refuses to comply with certain constitutional requirements and court rules.

¶4 On November 18, 2011, Goldwater filed a notice of entry of default, which he dated November 22. On November 21, the Governor filed a motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim. The Governor argued, inter alia, that the complaint was merely a list of grievances and personal beliefs that alleged no particular conduct by the Governor and was directed primarily to conduct by government branches not controlled by the Governor.

¶5 On November 25, Goldwater filed a demand for judgment by default. A month later, he renewed the demand and also responded to and moved to strike the motion to dismiss. Goldwater contended that the Governor had defaulted by not timely responding to the complaint, and argued generally that the Governor was liable on the claims asserted in his complaint because she was constitutionally required to ensure the faithful execution of all laws.

¶6 After holding oral argument, the superior court granted the Governor's motion to dismiss. Goldwater timely appeals. We have jurisdiction under A.R.S. § 12-2101(A)(1).

DISCUSSION

I. THE GOVERNOR DID NOT DEFAULT.


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